patchwork, proteas and an iron


Odd beautiful flowers, that will always make me think of my grandfather, (he used to grow them, not because he was pink coloured and slightly furry.)

An Iron 

What is it?

The Monkeys whispered. First to each other with small frowns on their faces and then turning to me in a much louder tone.


That my sweet children, is something I never thought you would see. Something I had sheltered you from in your first innocent years. A ‘thing’ that so very rarely darkens our doorstep, there had not been a need within their collective memories to have ever cast their eyes over such a contraption. That my children…

That, is an iron.

Oh… and off they went.

I’ll say it now and I’ll say it proud. I am not an ironer, (unless absolutely, positively necessary.) Ironing is up there with sifting. Usually I can find some way around not doing it. I think there may be an iron at the back of the under-the-sink cupboard….maybe. Definitely no ironing board though. One would take up far too much valuable space in a flat, and I’d probably feel inclined to decorate it with whimsical fairy lights.


So The Monkeys got their first sight of an iron, and why was it up? I was in the middle of my first bit of quilting. My first ever baby step in to the land of quilt. Easter long weekend and we were not home. Instead I had access to some really large floor space, (for laying out) a permanantly positioned sewing machine (and over locker) and distractions for the boys. This quilt was not something I had rushed into. Over quite a few months, pieces had been cut out, patterns played with, much fiddling of fabrics had been done, just not at home. No time, nor space at home so if I didn’t get it finished this time, it would probably be another 6 months.

Not one for patience, and with a bucket load of enthusiasm under my belt, the kids were banished and I set forth.

Now to be upfront, me and sewing haven’t always been friends. There is enthusiasm for it, especially since having kids. I’ve got a machine, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s hard work for this brain to work out which piece I’m supposed to be sewing. I don’t do it that often as it’s a royal pain to set it all up, do 5 minutes before little people come and ‘help’, finally get in the zone of it all and then have to pack it all away.

So a long weekend of sewing was planned, and a quilt none the less. Well that’s what I had planned anyway. Time raced by, and in my greedy need for wanting to take something home to be used straight away, it ended up being a doona cover. Not an exciting title is it… doona cover. But it’s mine, it’s patch work, I did every little piece. Miraculously there are no gaping holes, and a whole lot of it was made out of sample fabrics. (Got to love the thriftyness of patchwork.) As The Monkeys hollered for dinner and I whirred away on with my little foot peddle, I even got some pillow cases made.

I was having so much fun with the sewing machine. The ball was finally rolling again and I so wanted to do more, but my time was up. Those matching sailor suits for The Monkeys made from retro curtain fabric?… maybe next time.


37 thoughts on “patchwork, proteas and an iron

  1. That quilt and matching pillowcase looks fantastic. When you going to start taking orders?
    I second you on the ironing malarky, though there are days when it all becomes necessary – but oh so rarely if I can help it too. Which is why winter is great – all that layering!


  2. Oh, stunning doona cover!! So clever, love the fabrics! I am in the middle of thinking perhaps instead of finding suitable throw rugs, I’d whip up some patchwork quilt/ doona covers instead… I love sewing, but these days am rather more ‘freestyle’ than usual, and not sure how patchwork goes with ‘freestyle’!!

    Gorgeous photos, and I too am a non-ironer and non-sifter!!


  3. I quite like ironing – I know that is strange, but I love to see ironed clothes and there is only one way for that to happen. I am also wardrobe mistress at the Brisbane Fashion Festival and a big part of that job is ironing. I could iron for Australia. I used to do patchwork when my son was young. It is fun. I love your quilt – and your beautiful flower pictures.


  4. Hehe, I’m entirely with you on sifting (I literally never do it!) but do find I need to iron some things…although I’ve moved on from the days I used to iron tea towels :p You must be a more careful shopper than me and avoid crinkle-prone clothes!


  5. Ooh! You are a sewer! Well done, Bryds. Your ‘doona cover’ looks fab – loving those colours. Manly enough to please, yet still beautiful in it’s design. FANTASTIC!! What’s next on your agenda? (besides matching sailor suit outfits, Von Trapp style)?

    Me..not an ironer. It is set up with it’s stand and hubby irons his work shirts. I only iron like you if absolutely necessary. I don’t understand how people can do a week’s worth of ironing in one go – doesn’t it all get crumpled again in the wardrobe anyway? Although ironing and patchwork…I’m there. These two are definitely a marriage for each other and one cannot skimp on this…


    • Ironing and patchwork are definitely meant to be together, along with pins. I think my sewing in the past could have been a whole lot better if I just hadn’t been so lazy and pinned more and ironed.


  6. PS I hope you understand that I meant sew-er…not the plumbing type of drain that is sometimes referred to as a ‘sewer’..? Eek! I’ll shut my trap now!


  7. Heheee, that made me laugh – I resist almost every opportunity to take out an iron too – nasty business that iron.
    Your quilting attack sounded so lovely – although I leave such amazing talents to my mother as she’s belted out a quilt or 2 in her time, but I think the sewing machine is a first cousin to the iron, so I’m not taking any risks in getting friendly with the beast. Your finished work does inspire though 🙂


  8. Well done you! That looks like a great effort at quilting.
    My sister is quite addicted to quilting and has made some amazing quilts over the years. She made us this amazing quilt for a wedding present that has all these very meaningful symbols in the patterns, etc. Can’t describe it all that well but it is really stunning. I am sure you will be making more now that the bug has taken hold!


  9. love it – always wondered what irons were good for – I haven’t owned one for about 10 years and don’t miss it – apart from the odd bit of candlewax on fabric – comes out well with brown paper and an iron – but I would love to make such quilts – however I don’t even have a sewing machine – that’s why I spend my time in the kitchen – it is the beginning and end of any domestic goddess aspirations


  10. Your quilt and pillowcases are very cool.
    I am not a quilter, although I have made a couple of pieced comforters over the years. I like to get a project done within a small space of time or I go off onto other things.
    I have done my share of ironing- but am proudest that I have taught both of my sons to iron their own shirts. My husband is a lost cause- so I have gotten rid of all his cotton shirts and he wears polyester blends. I would prefer cotton- but he WON’T even consider ironing for himself.


    • I totally understand with getting a project done quickly. I get distracted very easily. I jump in all guns blazing and then….Ohhhh whats that shiny thing over there! Too many half finished projects laying about.


  11. oooh I like the patchwork, very nice! Esp. for someone who claims not to be a sewer ;). I don’t have any little monkey’s yet, but I can only imagine my time available for such projects will be shortened!


  12. Ha love it!
    I only remembered I actually owned an iron when I started to sew a few little things for my little boys, then when I found it, it had rusted out so I had to buy a new one anyway.
    Gorgeous quilt, I’m inspired.
    Lovely blog.


  13. So you’re not going to join the Extreme Ironers who take their irons and boards to unlikely places and iron? Mountain tops, middle of motorways, that sort of thing… Love the flowers and the reminiscences – and congratulations on the sewing. I can sew a weeny bit by hand, but the sewing machine is the equivalent to a chain saw as far as I am concerned. There is one in the house, but it is wielded by the one who loves all machines….


  14. Pingback: patching it up | cityhippyfarmgirl

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